Two stories on a theme
I recently had an idea for a story and upon going through my other drafts, realized I already addressed it, though differently. So here they both are. Also, the second story is not a criticism of the Buddha—though if you asked me, “Surgeon General” is a more apt description than “Great Physician”—or Jesus for that matter (or anyone else that calls themselves a physician).
A wanderer entered a town to find a most pious people living there. In the market center he found a man in simple dress surrounded by disciples.
“Who is this man that attracts such a following?” the wanderer asked.
“This is our master, a most wise and blessed man. He has righted many people and teaches us his ways. Please, eat with us tonight and you will see but one of the miracles he can bestow.”
That evening the wanderer came to share their meal. He and the disciples waited solemnly with empty plates and glasses for their master to appear.
When the master arrived he but touched each plate and on it appeared food of the most delicious and nourishing variety; he placed his finger to a glass and it filled with the most refreshing of nectars.
“This is no trick,” a disciple said to the stranger. “It is evidence of the wondrous knowledge from which he teaches us.”
“I accept the miracle,” the wanderer replied, “But why must your master serve you?”
The death of the king’s spiritual adviser called for the grandest of ceremonies and the richest of processions. To match the respect given in life, the king called all of his subjects in number to mourn. Among them, the king noticed a man, in the simple garb of a sage, and surrounded by disciples.
“Bring that wise man to my court this evening,” the king said, and it was so.
That evening, the sage was brought before the king and introduced as a most learned and wise teacher of philosophy and faith.
“Of my spiritual adviser,” the king spoke, “He was a brilliant and enlightened man whose help and support was a great constancy to my rule. Day or night I could call upon him to minister to my needs. He was physician to my thoughts and spirits.
“What could you provide of me in my court?” the king asked.
“To the health of your mind and soul I could provide much. I am though but a midwife: I can aid you in becoming, but from there it is up to you.”